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October 04, 2018 - 12:00 am

TEXAS POLICE SHOOTING OVERSHADOWED

Texas man's shooting by police overshadowed despite momentum

DALLAS (AP) — For Dallas-area residents, the Sept. 1 killing of O'Shae Terry in Arlington brought to mind the shooting of Jordan Edwards in another Texas city last year.

The 24-year-old Terry died after a police officer fired into his moving SUV. The 15-year-old Edwards was killed when an officer shot into a car leaving a Balch Springs house party.

Five days after Terry's shooting, police released footage and the case was starting to gain momentum. But hours after the video images made headlines, attention was already turning to the Sept. 6 shooting of 26-year-old Botham Jean who was gunned down in his home by an officer who said she mistook his apartment for hers.

Terry's mother, Sherley Woods, says his death and Jean's are similar because officers killed them "for no reason."

SCHOOL BUS CRASH-TEXAS

1 child killed, 3 injured after Texas school bus crashes

MESQUITE, Texas (AP) — School officials say one child was killed and three others were injured after their school bus crashed in North Texas.

The Mesquite Independent School District says a bus carrying 42 students from Terry Middle School crashed Wednesday afternoon. Aerial video showed the bus lying on its side in a ditch with its rear half showing scorch marks.

Mesquite police say a power line struck by the bus ignited the fire, but the exact cause of the wreck remains under investigation.

Civilians joined police and fire crews to rescue the children. Police say one student was dead at the scene. The child wasn't identified. Three students, the bus driver and three officers were taken to hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.

The 38 other students were returned to the school where counselors met them and their families.

Mesquite is a suburb just east of Dallas.

ROBOT BROTHEL

Houston City Council moves to block robot brothel opening

HOUSTON (AP) — Houston's City Council has changed a city ordinance in a move that would essentially stop a so-called robot brothel from opening.

A Canadian company had said it wants to open a "love dolls brothel" in Houston in which people would be able to use its human-like dolls on the premises.

But Houston's City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a change to a city ordinance that regulates sexually-oriented businesses.

The change would ban individuals from having sex with an "anthropomorphic device," a device resembling a human being.

Houston City Council member Greg Travis said the proposed robot brothel is "not a good business for our city. We are not sin city."

The company, KinkySdollS, didn't immediately return emails seeking comment Wednesday. The company has previously opened such a business in Toronto.

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This story has been corrected to show that the change to a city ordinance would ban individuals from having sex with an "anthropomorphic device," a device that resembles a human being, at a sexually-oriented business. It does not ban other sexual devices.

TRUMP-MIDTERMS

White House midterm message: Embrace Trump or start packing

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House has a message for vulnerable House Republicans tiptoeing around President Donald Trump: Get on board or start packing.

The warning comes in a memo from White House political director Bill Stepien. He argues that GOP candidates who are trying to distance themselves from the president are only doing themselves harm in the upcoming midterm elections.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the memo, which serves as a response to a grim White House briefing by pollsters for the Republican National Committee last month.

Midterm elections are traditionally difficult for the parties of incumbent presidents, and this year is proving to be no exception. The GOP is facing down considerable Democratic enthusiasm as it looks to retain control of the House and Senate.

HOMELESS BEATINGS

Fourth victim dies in string of attacks on men in LA area

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police say they will seek a fourth murder charge against a man suspected of killing mostly homeless victims in the Los Angeles area.

Santa Monica police Lt. Saul Rodriguez says the fourth victim, who was not immediately identified, died late Saturday. He had been hospitalized since being struck in the head while sleeping on a sidewalk early on Sept. 24.

Rodriguez says police will ask Los Angeles County prosecutors to file an additional murder charge against Ramon Escobar.

The 47-year-old El Salvador native was charged last week with three counts of murder, five counts of attempted murder and four counts of second-degree robbery.

Houston police also want to question Escobar in the disappearance of his aunt and uncle in Texas.

Information on a lawyer for Escobar was not immediately available.

DISASTERS-FIGHTING FEMA

Missed deadlines cost millions in potential disaster aid

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Communities starting the long recovery from Hurricane Florence will need to pay close attention to federal deadlines as they document the billions of dollars of damage it caused.

An Associated Press analysis of records from the Federal Emergency Management Agency shows missed deadlines have been one of the most common reasons why FEMA's top officials have denied appeals for public aid.

In the past 12 months alone, the AP identified well over $100 million of lost appeals from cities, schools and other public entities in which FEMA headquarters cited missed deadlines.

FEMA Deputy Director for Public Assistance Tod Wells says the agency has been "increasingly" enforcing deadlines as part of a plan to cut down on a backlog of appeals and provide reliable guidance for disaster aid applicants.

MURDER CONVICTION OVERTURNED

Texas judge exonerates man wrongly imprisoned for 19 years

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A Texas judge has signed an order that exonerates a man who spent 19 years in prison after being wrongly convicted of murder.

The Wednesday ruling means 44-year-old John Earl Nolley has been declared innocent in the 1996 slaying of Sharon McLane. The order also makes Nolley eligible for state compensation.

State District Judge Louis Sturns apologized to Nolley for the state's actions.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned Nolley's conviction in May , leading to Wednesday's ruling.

Nolley was freed in 2016 after a witness admitted he lied and a bloody palm print at the crime scene was linked to another person.

The witness who lied was a jailhouse informant. The case contributed to changes in Texas law that placed more controls on testimony provided by informants.

HOUSTON-ARMED ROBBERIES

Houston police: 4 arrested, blamed for at least 30 robberies

HOUSTON (AP) — Police say four suspects have been arrested in the investigation of at least 30 armed robberies and two sexual assaults in the Houston area since June.

Houston police on Wednesday announced the men — ages 17, 18 and two suspects who are 21 — are charged with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. One suspect has also been charged with sexual assault.

Police say in most of the cases the robbers carried handguns or semi-automatic rifles, demanded property from victims and threatened to harm them.

Investigators say the string of robberies happened in Houston, Missouri City, Pasadena, Sugar Land and Montgomery County since June 21.

DOG KILLED BY ARROW

Authorities seek person who fatally wounded dog with arrow

HOUSTON (AP) — Houston-area authorities are trying to find the person who shot an arrow into a dog that later died from its injuries.

Authorities at a Wednesday news conference said a woman found the shepherd mix on Sunday with an arrow protruding from its neck. Authorities said the dog died Monday during its second surgery.

X-rays showed that the hunting arrow went through the dog's thorax, diaphragm and liver.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez says the dog suffered a "slow and painful death."

Gonzalez says, "It was a sadistic act of violence possibly committed by a deeply disturbed individual who likely poses a continued threat to our community."

The nonprofit Crime Stoppers of Houston is offering a reward of up to $7,500 for any information leading to the identification of the suspect.

BACKSTREET BOYS CONCERT-OKLAHOMA

Backstreet Boys cancel Oklahoma show where fans were hurt

THACKERVILLE, Okla. (AP) — The Backstreet Boys won't be rescheduling an Oklahoma concert that was postponed after fans were hurt when a storm damaged the venue where the band was supposed to perform.

Band members announced Wednesday on Facebook that they won't be able to reschedule the show at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, which is along the Texas border about 70 miles (110 kilometers) northwest of Dallas. Refunds are available at points of purchase.

At least 14 people were taken to a hospital Aug. 18 after trusses holding up an entrance at the resort collapsed.

WinStar said it began an evacuation when lightning was within 4 miles (6 kilometers) of the casino, and that about 150 patrons were still inside when the storm hit with 70-80 mph (113-128 kph) winds.

The band plans to perform in Dallas and Tulsa next year.

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